Despite a little snow and lows in the twenties, Spring is here. I’ve spent the last week, or so, prepping our family garden. In a few days, when the temperature rebounds, I’ll begin sowing seeds and transplanting.
In the meantime, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how I would go about supporting plants. Store-bought metal cages are incredibly convenient and store well but the cost is a big deterrent. I tried staking and tying off plants last year but I wasn’t happy with the process.
This year I decided to try making my own plant cages. I would be able to pick up plenty of scrap wood from work and all I would have to do is draw up some plans and get to work.
[table caption=”Parts List” width=”624″ colwidth=”50|424|50|50|50″ colalign=”center|center|center|center|center”]
After drawing up my plans, I headed out into the shop and began raiding our scrap bin. I found a bunch of strips that were 3/16″ thick and 3/4″ wide. Rather than cut down material to make my 1/2″ slats, I planned on using the strips instead.
I ran into some trouble with assembly. My staple gun was blowing apart the 3/16″ material and I had to switch over to 3/4″ brads. This was also a problem as my thin slats were splitting. I got the first Plant Cage together and had serious doubts if the 3/16″ material was a good idea.
I made some adjustments, turning down the air pressure in my compressor and changing the depth my brad gun was driving brads, and the splitting stopped being an issue. The second cage went together very easily and felt much more secure.
As the sun began to set, my daughter and I cleaned up and put our new Plant Cages in the garden. I have material for 6 more cages and will be assembling them throughout the week. I’m sure they’ll last the season but since they won’t store well, I’ll probably trash them come winter.
While building my own plant cages is easy enough to do, I don’t really want to have to do it every year. Going forward I’m going to plan on investing in one or two store-bought metal cages per year. This will keep me from laying out a couple hundred dollars all at once and allow me to spread out my investment over time.
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